Is ‘A Single Rider’ Worth Your Time?
A Sneak Peek Into The Story :
So, this movie might just be one of the most disorganized movie I have ever watched to date. I am not saying that the movie is not-worth-watching kind of bad, but it is just so all over the place it is hard to make sense what is going on. What is disappointing about “A Single Rider” is that, it has so much potential with it’s premise and even the cast itself to truly elevate it to the next level, but it ends up being just a meh kind of movie.
Kang Jae-Hoon (Lee Byung-Hun) does not expect this day to ever come, the day when the company goes bankrupt. All the clients that he has garnered, all the hours that he poured into his work to achieve the position that he has today, as a branch manager, is all for nothing. Because soon he will be out of job and his clients will hate him and hold him responsible for the bankruptcy. Even when his co-workers already give up trying and already accepted the fact that the company is going bankrupt, he still tries to think of another way to keep the company afloat, but it is all for nothing as there is nothing he can do that can save the company.
When the news hit the public, it hit them hard, especially his clients. The company issues a public apology, and the public gives them – especially Jae-Hoon – hell for it. His clients blame him for their loss; some yell at him, some beg him to rectify this situation, some throw documents at his face. It was chaos. The bankruptcy of the company causes Jae-Hoon to fall into depression, and now that he is out of job and people in Korea basically hates him, he impulsively decides to buy a flight ticket to Australia the next day to visit his wife, Lee Soo-jin (Gong Hyo-jin) and his son.
Almost two years ago, Jae-Hoon decided to sent his wife and kid to Australia because he wants his son to be able to be fluent in English, believing that people who knows how to speak and use the English language well will have a better chance for employment. Once he arrives in Australia, he immediately goes to find the house where his wife and son is living, and is surprised to see his wife being “friendly” with another man. The two of them seem to be having a fun time as he can clearly see that his wife Soo-jin is being flirty with the man. Due to his shock, he decides to not barge into the house and watch his wife and son from a distance.
This is where the movie starts to not make sense and questions (and I mean a lot of them) starts to form in my head. Because from this point on, that is how the movie literally goes. He literally acts like a stalker to his own wife and son.
He would go to the house and just stands somewhere outside the house where he can easily look inside the house, all the while letting the man, Kris (Jack Campbell), flirt with his wife. Not only that, Kris sometimes would ask Soo-jin out for a date, and Jae-Hoon would trail after them while they are on a date. And sometimes, when his son is at school and Soo-jin is not at home, he would just break into the house and observe the house.
In this movie, it is also indicated that Jae-Hoon’s and his wife relationship isn’t the best as they don’t communicate often and when they do, it is only about their son or other things that are important. In the course of when his wife and son live overseas, I find it really odd how he isn’t at all curious to how his kid and wife is doing in Australia. He might have said that he is sending them to Australia for the good of his son, but I somehow feel like he does that as a way to get rid of them so he can fully focus on his career.
He eventually come across Yoo Jin-ah (Ahn So-hee), who is on a working holiday visa and unable to go back to Korea because she has just got duped and lost all her money. When she went to exchange her AUD (Australian Dollar) to KRW (Korean Won), she ended up getting drugged and robbed. Jin-ah is so happy that she is able to meet another fellow Koreans in an English speaking country that she begs him to help her. With her persistence and determination, she eventually is able to crack Jae-Hoon as he decides to help her try to get her money back.
While Ahn So-hee is able to act really well, just like she did in Train To Busan , I am not quite sure what role does her character serve in this movie. It seems like her character just popped out of nowhere to keep the story going, and even then, it does little to help with the story flow.
The Verdict :
This movie actually started on a really strong foot and it seems very promising, but it is as if the director seem to have lost interest or is not sure where to bring the story to, because after 45 minutes into the movie, you can feel the storyline goes stagnant and goes into a spiraling downhill. The only thing that saved the movie for me is the ending, even then, it feels very rushed. The ending was unexpected and definitely adds a twist to the movie, but even then, it is still not enough to salvage this movie.